Netanyahu seeks Harper's approval for military strike against Iran - Macleans.ca

Netanyahu seeks Harper’s approval for military strike against Iran

The Israeli PM is expected to have more trouble convincing Obama than Harper

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives in Ottawa today and is expected to raise the issue of military action against Iran with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Netanyahu is keen on openly threatening Iran with an attack if it insists on developing its nuclear program, even as his own country’s military elite has warned him of the dire consequences an attack could have in the whole region.

Sarah Boesveld, writing for the National Post, suggests Netanyahu expects Harper to endorse his hawkish vision before heading south to meet President Barack Obama on Monday. But an analyst quoted in the article believes Harper’s show of support for his Israeli counterpart might not carry much weight:

“Clearly Netanyahu would like to put pressure on the Obama administration to support a more muscular, meaning possibly military, response to Iran’s nuclear program. He knows full well that there’s zero enthusiasm for that in the United States,” said Rex Brynen, a McGill University political science professor and Middle East analyst.

“He’s trying to create more pressure on the President and to do that I think it makes some sense to talk to Prime Minister [Stephen] Harper whom he knows is kind of his ideological soulmate on this issue and is likely to support him, just in the sense of creating momentum. Whether it has any impact on Washington I think is negligible.”

Meanwhile, Obama has his own plans for Monday’s meeting. He said this week he will try to persuade Israel to postpone any military action until after economic sanctions have taken full effect. In this excellent in-depth interview with The Atlantic, Obama goes over the arguments he will use to reassure Netanyahu that the United States “has Israel’s back.”

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